News Column

Events Leading David Petraeus' Resignation

November 12, 2012

Timeline of events leading up to David Petraeus' resignation:

Spring/early summer: A close associate of Petraeus reports to the FBI that she is being harassed in a series of e-mails.

Late summer/early fall: An FBI investigation allegedly traces communications to Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell.

Two weeks ago: FBI meets with Petraeus to discuss findings of its investigation.

Oct. 27: Rep. David Reichert, R-Wash., asks House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., to speak with an FBI source he found credible regarding Petraeus. Cantor speaks to the source the same day. "Eric talked to the person and found him to be credible," says Cantor spokesman Doug Heye. Cantor instructs his chief of staff, Steve Stombres, to alert the FBI director's office about the conversation.

Oct. 31: Stombres connects with the FBI director's office. Asked about the time lag, Heye says the federal government was closed for two days because of Hurricane Sandy. After Stombres spoke with the FBI, "That was the end of our involvement," Heye says.

Tuesday: James Clapper, director of national intelligence, learns of the Petraeus investigation from the Justice Department on election night.

Wednesday: Clapper informs the White House about the situation.

Thursday morning: Petraeus calls White House national security adviser Tom Donilon to request a meeting with President Obama and explains why.

Later Thursday: Obama is briefed by staff and meets with Petraeus in the afternoon. Petraeus offers his resignation. Obama reserves a decision, instead takes the evening to think about it and confer with aides.

Friday: Obama accepts Petraeus' resignation as CIA director during a phone call with Petraeus. Obama immediately calls Petraeus' deputy, Michael Morell, and offers him the job of acting CIA director.

Friday afternoon: White House announces Petraeus' resignation.

Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2012

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